Your catamaran charter in Bequia will begin at the port of entry, Port Elizabeth. The islands’ heartbeat as it is called is quite literally just that! From the post office, to historic St Mary’s Anglican church which was rebuilt after a hurricane in 1829 to the island’s administrative building most of the traffic on the island happens in this town. Having been under French rule, some of the cuisine is French inspired while others have a zesty creole taste. Nonetheless, fresh seafood is always on the menu! Once a year there is the Bequia Sparrow Premium Rum Easter Regatta, which is the largest regattas in the Caribbean. This is a 6-day event of sailing and fun for all ages. Not only is there a racing event held annually in Bequia but there is also an annual music fest. It is called the Bequia Mount Gay Music Festival and it is 5 days long and is held at the end of January. Musicians from around the globe of different musical genres come to this small island for the event that’s held at 3 different venues all in the heart of the island.
Bequia is a indeed small island however, there are plenty of things to do that will keep your interest. It is a diver’s paradise with more than 25 of the most exhilarating dives and views of its underwater paradise. Beneath the surface of the water there are untouched coral reefs and even some shipwreck ruins that are mesmerizing to snorkelers and divers alike. There 225 varieties of fish as well as Hawksbill turtles, lobsters, moray eels and sea horse. For more water adventures, fishing and kayaking are very popular on the island. Kayaking is usually best on the leeward side of the island in the calm and shallow beaches. Fishing allows you the chance to catch kingfish, tuna and barracuda. Nothing is more exciting than catching your own dinner! Take a mesmerizing stroll along the famed Belmont Walkway, which is right along the waterfront. This walkway leads you to the trail for Princess Margaret Beach. Said to be one of the most beautiful beaches in the Caribbean, its illuminous white sand and clear blue water are perfect for snorkeling. A visit to the Bequia Maritime Museum will be worthwhile. This small museum harbors some of the island’s maritime history along with a collection of model boats by Lawson Sargeant.
Upon anchoring in Bequia, you will encounter a different type of Caribbean experience. There is not such a barrier between locals and tourist partly because tourism is an enormous part of the island now. However, it has not always been this way. The first settlers of Bequia were the Arawak people who gave the island its name. They used the island for fishing and farming. Bequia and other islands in the Grenadines belonged to Grenada which was ruled by France in the 1600s. However, the French gave up this islands and others to the British in 1763 under the Treaty of Paris. Some French could stay on their cultivated land; however, the English built forts to keep their stronghold position. Remaining canons from one of the forts can still be seen today. Sugar, molasses and rum were a major part of the economy for Bequia until the Emancipation in August 1838. As a result, many of the English landowners returned home. Then, a new industry made its way to the top of the economy of Bequia. In the 19th and well on into the 20th century, Bequia became known for shipbuilding 71 boats were built between 1923 and 1990. This is almost half of the boats that were registered in the country during that time. Although that time has now passed, you can still see boats being built on the shores of the island using techniques that have been passed down for generations. Chartering a catamaran in Bequia will allow you to experience true serenity in the waters around this small paradise. You will never want to leave!
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